…and at the end, on the “What will it take” slide he is talking about an information system not design or architecture at all! It then occurred to me that there is a potential use for RDF an the semantic web here. If you can design some metadata that can describe all the important features of the 3000 designs Cameron has on his laptop then you might be able to create a search interface that can find best designs for any given environment.
Its a big leap to first describe the designs adequately with a certain meta description but I feel you just have to start and then it will get better as you figure out whats needed.
Even better than search is that you might get machines to take certain situations/problems (i.e. this much space, this much power, this much water efficiency etc) and automatically find design solutions to solve the problem(s). You might need to assemble a hospital/school/basic housing in the desert/jungle/mountains with only scrap wood/metal/bamboo with 2 people working on it who are only proficient in hammer&nail/tying-rope/chopping-wood etc
This is the first real-world use for the semantic web I’ve every thought about and once you realise what its useful for (i.e. making the real world machine readable) you can apply it to anything!
I need to start doing some research and getting into it!
If your working on a coding project and your submitting it to version control, heres how to remove the meta-schmeg that OS X leaves around:
find . -name '*.DS_Store' -type f -delete
If your using GIT as your versioning control system then I’d suggest making a .gitignore file in the root of the project after running this command and before you git init to save yourself some bother.
This is a great TED talk from Tim Berners-Lee who created the internet. Here he talks about Linked Data and the importance of sharing and linking data.
Just as with his first break-through, the hyperlink, he realises that its the links that make things useful. To take this on step further the linking is how we embed mean into web documents. The same applied with data. Data by itself is not as useful as data linked to other data and this linkage is meaningful.
Linking was only half the story and Tim doesn’t talk about the importance of standardising the data format, which by the way he also underestimated with HTML and why web developers have had a nightmare with different web browsers interpretation of HTML. Data formats is the less exciting half of the equation but is going to be just as critical. Especially with numbers like dates, currencies, measurements (and their metrics) etc. I’m thinking (hoping, praying) that we’ve learnt our leasons from HTML and people know when and how to draw up a standard for data formats before this thing explodes.
This TED talk by Tom Wujec shows ways that visualising ideas helps to solve the problems. The “Visual Strategy Planning” idea, where a team maps out the entire problem on a wall, together, is a bit like a mind-map and is a nice interface to information.
It also has ramifications for learning in that new concepts could be presented to students as a map instead of a linear text.
I’ve been inspired by a great lecture, The Web that Wasn’t by Alex Wright, which traces the history of precursor ideas and thinking that ether lead to the web or where ideas much greater than the Internet is right now.
I started gathering data for a project relating to Language and did a lot of research into ISO standards and was looking for a complete list of Languages + some ISO code to id them by. This got expanded to cross referencing by Country (as languages have dialects in different countries) and then I thought it would be easy to complete this set with Locate settings and perhaps even country to IP address mappings. I got a bonus from the UNeTradeS with all sub regions for all country’s (according to the UN) and most of their Geo co-ordinates! Continue reading “Internationalization & localization data sets”